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Heinz Kroll * 1912

Anckelmannstraße 10 (Schule) (Hamburg-Mitte, Borgfelde)

JG. 1912
ERMORDET 4.1.1944

further stumbling stones in Anckelmannstraße 10 (Schule):
Johanna Steiner

Heinz Kroll, born 5 June 1912 in Hamburg, murdered 4 Jan. 1944 in the Mainkofen Mental Institution, Lower Bavaria

Anckelmanstraße 10 (Anckelmannstraße 91)

Heinz Kroll was born on 5 June 1912. He was the third of six children born to Frieda Kroll, née Krause, and Friedrich Wilhelm Kroll. The eldest child was a daughter. Of the three children born after Heinz, two died in infancy. Heinz was christened on 6 October 1913 by Pastor Junge at the Church of Our Savior in Borgfelde. He developed normally, but suffered, as did the entire family, under their "very nervous, bad-tempered, and irritable” father.

Heinz started school at the Ausschlägerweg 16 public school at Easter of 1919. He changed to the school for children with learning disabilities at Bülaustraße 38 at Easter of 1921, but no surviving documents give a reason. He remained there for only two years.

His father died in 1923. Both of the elder siblings were already working. Heinz’s mother was no longer able to care for her son, and requested that the Youth Welfare Office investigate, as she considered the 12-year-old to be "in moral danger.” The investigating agents had Heinz admitted to the Alsterdorf Mental Institution on the grounds that he was weak-willed, bad-tempered, and it was difficult to make him do chores. Heinz Kroll was admitted to Alsterdorf on 17 May 1935, and began attending the school there on 8 June 1925. Despite all efforts, he never progressed to the point that he could be confirmed, which, at the time, was considered to be the successful end of a young person’s schooling. Heinz was assigned to do household chores, and went through puberty with the normal difficulties. In 1929 he was accepted into the confirmation class, and finally confirmed by Pastor Stritter.

As Heinz grew to be a strong young man, he began to do agricultural work. His mother took every opportunity to bring him home to her new apartment on Rumpffsweg in Hamm on holidays. When he turned 21 he was declared legally incompetent and assigned a legal guardian (20 July 1933). In May of the following year the Hereditary Health Court, with the consent of his legal guardian, declared that he was to be sterilized. An unidentified person submitted an objection to the decision, on the grounds that Heinz was slightly feeble-minded, but harmless. The Higher Hereditary Health Court ruled in favor of the legal guardian, who had himself replaced although he had won the case. The surgery was performed in October 1934.

Heinz worked well under supervision, was particular about his clothing, and his mood alternated between friendly and good-natured on one hand and bossy and impudent on the other. He was officially declared unfit for service in the Wehrmacht in January 1940.

In 1941 he suddenly began having seizures, which turned out to be caused by diabetes. He could no longer do hard physical labor on the farms and spent several weeks in the hospital in order to become accustomed to the insulin treatment. The necessity of daily insulin injections was a blow to his mother, as his visits home were first eliminated altogether, and then limited to one-day visits. Heinz was well-behaved, and worked well and willingly. The surviving documents do not make clear why he was chosen to be included in the patient transfer in August 1943. He was deported to Mainkofen on 18 August 1943.

His mother, whose apartment in Hamm was destroyed by bombs, found a place to live in Bayreuth. She never saw her son again. He died in Mainkofen on 4 January 1944, allegedly of bronchial pneumonia, which had developed as a result of undernourishment and lack of medical attention. Frieda Kroll wrote a long letter to the administration at Mainkofen about her son and her remorse at having to send him to an institution, where he died "an innocent death.” Heinz Kroll was 31 years old at his death.

Translator: Amy Lee

Kindly supported by the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, Hamburg.

Stand: October 2016
© Hildegard Thevs

Quellen: Ev. Stiftung Alsterdorf, Archiv, V 427; Jenner, Meldebögen, in: Wunder/Genkel/Jenner, Ebene, S. 169–178; Wunder, Abtransporte, in: ebd., Ebene, S. 181–188; ders., Exodus, ebd. S. 189–236.

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